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XIAO XUN (1883-1944)
PROPERTY PREVIOUSLY IN THE COLLECTION OF HUANG JUNBI (LOTS 1426-1433)The Bai Yun Tang collection was amassed by renowned artist Huang Junbi, and includes a vast number of pieces acquired over an artistic career of more than seven decades. In 1981 Huang presented his astounding collection in a two-volume publication, The Collections of Pai Yun Tang. The first volume contains 111 works by masters of the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The second volume contains 151 works, including preeminent late Qing painters Xu Gu, Ren Bonian, and Wu Changshuo, and modern masters Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, Fu Baoshi, and Pu Xinyu (Pu Ru). Huang acquired a significant portion of the collection while teaching in National Central University, and kept them in his possession for over 40 years.Following the outbreak of war with Japan in 1937, Huang Junbi followed the Nationalist Government withdrawal to Sichuan. On arriving in Chongqing, Luo Jialun, then President of National Central University, appointed Huang as a professor of Chinese traditional painting. Huang’s fellow professors of painting included: Xu Beihong, Zhang Daqian, Zhang Shuqi, Pang Xunqin, and Xie Zhiliu, as well as Fu Baoshi in post as Assistant Professor of Painting Theory and History. The eleven years Huang spent teaching at National Central University cemented enduring friendships with these artists. They collaborated in their research in art theory and in their search for new directions in Chinese painting. Within their intimate social circle they would often paint together, freely exchanging both their comments and their paintings. Xu Beihong’s Lady, a traditional female figure with a serene appearance, was a consolation to Huang on his solitary life in a suburban Chongqing apartment. The painting is a classic example of Xu’s figural oeuvre, synthesising his lifelong study of Western drawing methods with his commitment to the techniques and subjects of traditional Chinese painting. In 1943 Fu Baoshi painted Meeting a Boy Beneath the Pines for Huang (published as Asking the Child Under Pinetree). Huang later commented: “Fu Baoshi’s work is dominated by figures and landscapes. His figural style is heavily influenced by Chen Hongshou, rendering figures that are lofty and archaic without becoming stiff and formulaic. Fu’s brushwork is dexterous, with feint colours emerging from his splayed, light ink. At times the interplay between Fu’s brush and ink matches the Song masters Shi Ke and Liang Kai.”Huang Junbi, Pu Ru, and Zhang Daqian would all eventually leave mainland China. Ultimately arriving in Taiwan by separate routes, this intimate trio of artists became known as the Three Masters Who Crossed the Sea. After crossing the strait Huang spent 23 years as the head of the Art Department at Taiwan Normal University. During his tenure he appointed Pu Ru as a Professor of traditional Chinese painting, and several times invited Zhang Daqian to teach as a visiting professor. The inscriptions and seals on Pu Ru’s Pine and Zhang Daqian’s Scholar are a visceral demonstration of the affinity between these three artists.The group on offer in this auction includes eight works from Huang Junbi’s historic collection, six of which are published in The Collections of Pai Yun Tang. These pieces are of the highest quality with impeccable provenance, embodying the rich artistic life of Huang Junbi.
XIAO XUN (1883-1944)

Landscape

Details
XIAO XUN (1883-1944)
Landscape
Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper
111 x 42.2 cm. (43 ¾ x 16 5/8 in.)
One seal of the artist
Further inscribed and signed by Chen Banding, with three seals
Dated summer, fifth month, fifth day, wuzi year (1948)
Literature
The Collections of Pai Yun Tang, Volume 2, Cathay Art Museum, August 1981, pp. 136-137, pl. 72.

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